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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Stormy Sky Above

It was a beautiful day filled with sunshine.  The air was heavy and humid and the more the sun beamed down, the warmer it got.  In the distance you could see the storm clouds and they were moving our way.  I will not say that I am terribly afraid of storms, but I have a healthy respect for them and what they can do.

I remember a day long ago before we had the kind of equipment that helps to track and warn us of dangerous weather.  It was a day like today with warm temperatures and humidity so high the air felt thick.  This may sound strange but I have always had an extreme response to the weather.  It is almost as if I can feel the energy of the approaching storm.  I can be so tired but as a storm nears I feel more and more energized.  When I begin to feel like the energizer bunny it is time to head for cover.


That day was similar to today and felt as if the storms could be building.  I remember seeing the clouds churning and rolling.  The dark and formidable mass of clouds looked angry and intense.  You could see and feel the electricity in the air as I knew it was time to run.  The storm hit with such force it sounded like a roar combined with a freight train all at the same time.  The wind and rain and screaming sounds all around from a storm that was swiftly tearing up all in its path.  Most of what was out there were miles and miles of fields but there was a house here or there or the barns.  Some would not be there after this storm passed.

Our neighbor had a large barn totally destroyed and their house was untouched right beside it.  Part of our roof came off and I feared we would swiftly follow it the way the storm raged.  As quickly as it began it was over, or so it seemed.  I went outside to see what had happened and saw a sight I will never forget.  All around above us were the rolling masses of black clouds even darker than they were before churning and rolling.  As I looked straight up above me was the prettiest blue sky you could imagine.  The air was deadly calm.  It almost felt as if there was no air.  My breath caught in my chest as I realized I was looking up through the center of a tornado that had lifted off the ground.  The terrible winds we had were only those below it.  I am so grateful it did not stay on the ground at that exact moment.  I had seen others that twisted, turned, went up and down in the blink of an eye and I was right below it.  I ran back into the house as I realized the other side would soon hit just as strong as it had been moments before and hoped it would stay above and not swoop down to destroy and devour.

When it passed part of the roof was gone and windows broken but we were all unhurt.  Those thoughts passed through my mind this day.

I could feel the intense change as the clouds rolled in.  It was obvious we had storms headed our way and the news media had warned of the remnants of the hurricane we would see.  I got busy writing and tend to be totally absorbed in what I am doing.  I have been so excited about the new novel that is the next to be released, that I did not notice how dark it was with the huge mass of clouds.

No matter what kind of concentration you have you would notice when the winds made that howling sound and the rain was not pouring it was driven with such force it had a sound almost like some wild creature raging all around.  It was too late to wonder what it was or tune in and find the latest weather update.  The weather that was, was here.  I can not run.  There was nothing to do and then it was gone leaving heavy pouring rain.  The rain was so heavy you could not see what was beyond and as quickly as it came, it was gone.

I tried to call my daughter but there was no answer.  I hoped she had taken shelter.  I called my husband.  He had gone to the store in town.  He sounded relieved to hear from me as he told me they had said on the radio a tornado had been here.  Not a few miles away but right here.  It had not dropped down enough to do the damage and destruction it could have. 

The storm head headed toward my daughter's house where she and my grandson waited and watched.  I know both of them fear such storms.  The have a fear of any storm but this was one to watch and beware.  I wished they were with me.  I wanted to know they were alright.  The announcement came that all cell phones where she was were not working with anything but some text messages.  I got a message from her about then that they were fine but the phone would not work.

I had the news on and realized how amazing modern technology is with the internet.  I turned on the computer and could see messages from all different family members...everyone was alright.  I have been worried about my nephew for some time as he is in an area where anything could happen.  He is one of the response team sent in to try to help restore the electricity after the hurricane.  They send them in right away so they are on the spot where needed.  Walking or driving into harms way.  When he said their truck was flooded and there was no way it was going to start he meant it.  He sent pictures after they got out of it with water up to the window.  That was after it had gone down some.  They had been trying to beat the rising water to save the trucks when it flooded with such force all they could do is save themselves.  As far as I knew, for the time being, we were all safe.

It does no good to worry and I know that.  Worry does not change a thing.  Worry is very detrimental to a person's health especially if they have hypertension and numerous other health issues.  Even as I say and know these things to be true I still do worry.  When I found out all was well, it was a relief.

I stepped outside and when I looked up at the sky I could not resist using the phone I held in my hands to take some pictures of the clouds.  I could see three layers moving in three different directions and at different speeds.  The turbulence above was still working it's way across and clearing.  Between the clouds there were patches of dark blue sky.

In no time at all the clouds moved on and the sun came back out heating the moist air to steam bake settings and it was time for me to go back in.

They constantly changed and churned as I took several pictures before going back in.  I put the photos on the computer and looked at the intricate and forceful look of clouds that were filled with turbulence.  I have been planning to work on the cover for the new novel Danny.

Danny is a story of a young child in a dysfunctional family living a nightmare that became real.   As I saw the clouds above churning and shrouding unknown and unseen forces of nature, I thought of the cover I wanted for the book.  Those clouds show such intensity and depth.  They are so vividly and visually symbolic of darker times and uncertainty of what will become.  The clouds may part and blue sky return, or they could build and strengthen again to show the power and force of nature in a fury.

I used those photos and even printed them out to see how they look.  I added the book title and author name to see how it looks.  I could have tried to use a picture of the character but I want to find a way to create the feeling.  Those clouds have such feeling and beauty even in the cover of potentially dangerous developments to come.  I know I have more work to do but this is some of what I have been doing this evening.  I hope you enjoy and would love to hear what you think.

When I sleep tonight I will think of blue skies, rainbows and gentle cooling breezes.  I wish you all a peaceful and restful sleep.

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